This is a reply sent from Captain Paul Watson. (My relpy to Paul follows this letter)
A Message to Toshiaki Morioka from Captain Paul Watson
I am sorry you feel this way, but you do not understand what the Cove Guardians are doing, if you think they are there simply to lecture Japanese fishermen.
They are not. They are there to focus international attention on the slaughter of the dolphins and when the Cove Guardians come to Taiji they are there to bring the images home to their respective countries.
Sea Shepherd is not anti-Japanese and never has been. We are pro-dolphin. We are in Taiji to support the dolphins and the truth is that these dolphins do not belong to the Japanese people. They are a nation onto themselves and the fishermen of Taiji are viciously assaulting the citizens of this nation of dolphins, killing them, capturing them, torturing them and that Toshiaki, makes what they are doing very much our business.
Are you saying that if the Cove Guardians were not in Taiji, the killing would end? I wish that were so but if the Cove Guardians leave Taiji, the only thing that will end is the continued international exposure that the Cove Guardians bring to this cruel massacre.
You say, “It is not seen as normal, legitimate or even acceptable for overseas activist groups to operate in this remote corner of Japan as if it were their own backyard.”
Yet Japanese whalers go to the Southern Ocean, to an internationally established whale sanctuary and treat this sanctuary like it is their own backyard. Tell me Toshiaki, why is it okay for Japanese whalers to treat the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the Australian Whale Sanctuary like it is their personal slaughterhouse, yet it is not acceptable for the Cove Guardians to bear witness and document and expose the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji?
We are not creating a Japanese puppet organization and we have no intention of doing so. We welcome the participation of Japanese citizens but we are not in Japan to create an organization, we are in Taiji to continue to focus worldwide attention on this obscenity that takes place there.
We are opposing IMATA and we are opposing the shipment of dolphins by airlines. We are opposing the slaughter of dolphins and pilot whales in the Danish Faeroe Islands and we are opposing whalers in the Southern Ocean and in the North Atlantic.
We do not give a damn about what nationality the killers are, and we never have. We have fought dolphin killing, whale killing sadistic killers worldwide from many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and what we oppose is the hand that holds the harpoon or knife. The colour and nationality of that hand is unimportant and irrelevant.
The killers are homo sapiens and we have a responsibility to oppose any homo sapien that slaughters these intelligent and socially complex sentient beings. This is not about racism. There is only one race and that is the human race and the killers and we are of the same race. It really is between people who kill dolphins and whales and people who wish to stop the killing. It is as simply as that, and tossing accusations of racism into the issue is nothing more than a tactical way of defending the indefensible.
Before we came to Taiji in 2003 there was not a single Japanese voice opposing the slaughter. The media did not mention it and the Japanese people were oblivious to it.
That is no longer the case. We have made Taiji, this town without pity into a household word around the world, a place now considered with respect to dolphins as every bit as vile as Treblinka or Dachau were to humans.
The Japanese government receives tens of thousands of e-mails and letters every year from all around the world and that carries more weight than a few people holding up protest banners in Tokyo.
What the Japanese government responds to is “gaiatsu.” This means foreign pressure and every single piece of Japanese legislation dealing with marine conservation has been passed because of gaiatsu.
If people in Japan feel that there is rising anti-Japanese sentiment because of the slaughter of dolphins the answer is to stop slaughtering dolphins. We are not creating this anti-Japanese sentiment. It is the slaughter that is creating this animosity. We are merely exposing the horror that is the truth of Taiji. Do you wish to chastise us for being the messengers of truth. If Japan is being viewed by many with anger and even horror it is because of the slaughter, it is not because of us.
What you are asking is for us to not speak truth to power. You are asking us to draw down the curtain over Taiji so that the world will once again be blissfully ignorant of the killing.
This we will not do. We will not abandon the dolphins. Our objective is to make sure that every dolphin that dies in Taiji is killed before the eyes of the world. We cannot allow the killing to resume in silence.
You want us to view the problem from the other side through the eyes of the fishermen of Taiji. That is like asking is to view the crimes of serial killers through the eyes of the psychopaths.
Toshiaki, Have you seen the slaughter, have you heard the screams of the dolphins, have you smelt the blood in the air, have you seen the bay turn red with the blood of these beautiful creatures?
Do you really think we can simply turn our backs on these dolphins and walk away?
If we are being offensive to the fishermen it is because what they are doing is offensive to us, to decency and to our collective dignity as a species.
What has been happening in Taiji is a crime against nature and the future of humanity. We will not walk away from it and we will never abandon these dolphins.
Yes we have to stop the cruel performances by dolphinariums where these intelligent creatures are enslaved. Movies like The Cove and Blackfish have gone along way in educating people worldwide about the horror of this viciously cruel industry.
The Japanese right wing nationalists have seized on this issue to espouse their agenda of hate. As incredible as it seems, they seem to think that linking their cause to slaughter and torture is the most positive media strategy they can deploy. Oh wait, I’m sorry, I forgot that the Japanese right wing nationalist have always been aligned with slaughter, bloodshed, slavery and torture. I’m sure that many Chinese citizens would agree.
The Cove Guardians are not hiding their light as you say in a remote corner of Japan. What they see and document is sent out to the entire world and people are noticing, and more so every year. Before we went to Taiji in 2003, no one, absolutely no one knew of this. Today the world is aware of it so you cannot say our efforts in Taiji have not been successful. From an educational and media position the campaign has been hugely successful.
You say there is nothing left to do at the cove that requires overseas activists. I am sorry but you are wrong. If the overseas activists leave, the opposition to this slaughter will end. The advantage that overseas activists have over Japanese activists is that the Japanese government cannot intimidate the non-Japanese activists and they have and will continue to intimidate the Japanese activists.
Our loyalty is 100% with the dolphins and we will not be intimidated into abandoning them by nationalistic indignation because of the color of our skin or the nationality of our passports. We will not submit and surrender to discrimination.
The slaughter of dolphins at Taiji must be ended. It has no place in the 21st century, no place in the civilized world and no place within any human culture. It is a cruel and remorseless senseless immoral waste of life, an obscenity that every human being should oppose if they have any self-respect for themselves as human beings.
Thank-you Toshiaki for opposing the killing. You obviously have empathy for these wonderful marine mammals and we appreciate that. We really do, but please do not presume to dismiss us on the grounds that we are not Japanese.
The dolphins are not Japanese either. They belong in those waters. It is their home and we as their defenders have every right to be at their side.
Mr Watson, you make many excellent points with which I agree, but your perspective is from outside Japan, like a faith healer who assesses the illness only from the outside appearance of the patient. We are inside Japan and have far more accurate and up-to-date information on how people think, so we can tell you what is wrong on the inside. Also we have the advantage that, Japanese people may listen to criticism from their countrymen while foreigners' protests are seen as illegitimate interfering. This is a problem not of actually legality, but of perspective.
As for the legitimacy of your protests, that is not the problem. The problem is not about what is "right" but about what is effective. To be frank, seen from the point of view of a Japanese who wishes to save the dolphins, the foreign presence in Taiji is bringing attention to the problem only outside Japan, while it is obstructing the work of the movement inside Japan. I hope you will devote more effort to finding out what Japanese people are doing in Japanese. Since your actions in the Antarctic were declared illegal in Japan, the Japanese public is unwilling to be associated with you. Your aura among overseas activists has a different color here in Japan, one with which most people do not want to be associated. Hence they will not support our actions to protect dolphins. So our efforts are nullified by yours. This is why we are having trouble bringing change. Your "leeching" may have an apparent effect but it does not cure the disease.
"What the Japanese government responds to is “gaiatsu.”" This is unfortunately not accurate. “Gaiatsu” is something that raises the pressure against change when it is forced on the nation from outside.
"Before we came to Taiji in 2003 there was not a single Japanese voice opposing the slaughter."
You seem to have overlooked the work of IKA-net who have been active since 1996. (http://ika-net.jp/en/